There is no forever power in human history. The rising East Asia vs. Western model seems to reemerge. China is rising. The sun is rising too. It is the first time in history for both nations being strong at the same time. Japan is an old giant in East Asia. After falling asleep for hundreds of years, the China dragon has wakened up and become an expected star in the 21st century. The stable Japan-China relationships are not only for East Asian happiness today, but also for their success tomorrow. Japan and China are enjoying the complementary economic relationships, but it is a totally different picture in the political and military fields. This kind of relationship is called “politics cold and economies hot.”
The increasing China’s military threat and worsening Japan-China relationships are forcing Japan-U.S. alliance to become closer. This context has made Japan as the spokesman of U.S. in the East Asia. A typical example is the first East Asian Summit. Because U.S. is not officially invited to join the first East Asian Summit, Japan fulfils its role of spokesman to insist the importance of U.S. participation positively. Japan intends to ally with U.S. to cope with China’s domination power.
However, Japan’s future and that of China are closely linked. Both leaders have wisdom to create the win-win results. Realistically, Chinese government is pessimistic about the future of Japan-China relationships. Japanese hard-liners are rising. The strongest candidate for post-Koizumi, called Shinzou Abe, is also a hard-liner toward China. Consequently, it is not easy to mitigate the Japan-China conflicts in the post-Koizumi times. Furthermore, the Japan-China relationships are shifting from “politics cold and economies hot” to “politics cold and economies cool.”
臺灣國際研究季刊=Taiwan International Studies Quarterly 2(2)，頁151-177